Sex And The City Fame Was 'Suffocating' For Sarah Jessica Parker When The Show Took Off

Even though it's been more than 25 years since "Sex and the City" first aired, fans will never be able to get enough of the beloved sitcom. The show famously follows a group of women in their 30s navigating careers and love lives in New York City, and the popular revival, "And Just Like That," is a continuation of their juicy journeys. Over the years, Sarah Jessica Parker has become almost synonymous with her character, Carrie Bradshaw, a sex and dating columnist who writes about all of her own intriguing escapades for The New York Observer. 

Although Parker seems more than happy to keep playing Bradshaw for as long as possible now, she was actually very hesitant to commit to the character in the beginning. The actress had a lot of concerns about being tied to one rigorous schedule and having to give up the freedom to take on other projects that called to her. After the show first came out and was immensely successful, Parker still continued to feel very uneasy about the situation in those early years. 

She was overwhelmed in the beginning

Carrie Bradshaw, of course, became a huge icon in pop culture, but Sarah Jessica Parker wasn't totally sold on joining "Sex and the City" back in the day. During an appearance on "Origins Chapter 5: Sex and the City: Tutu's, Tete-a-Tete's, and Taxi's," the actor explained that she was nervous about committing to the sitcom because of the intensity of the filming schedule. Parker recalled that she "panicked" and thought at the time, "I want to maintain my life. I like doing a few plays a year and a movie, and maybe a TV movie of the week."

Parker even tried to quit the show after she filmed the pilot because she was so anxious about being "locked in" to a project. In 2016, while on "The Howard Stern Show," she recalled, "In my head, it was just, like, the same thing over and over again . . . like somebody had put me in a straight jacket." 

Of course, Parker did end up accepting the role after HBO convinced her at the time that she would have some freedom. Still, despite all the love that she and the show received, she struggled with the new lifestyle that came with it. "All of a sudden it felt like somebody was holding me hostage or something or there just were these limitations which felt very suffocating," Parker revealed on the podcast. 

She ultimately embraced Carrie Bradshaw

Fortunately, Sarah Jessica Parker was ultimately able to embrace the challenge of taking on the show, and she played the iconic New York City columnist for six seasons from 1998 to 2004 — but the "Sex and the City" journey didn't stop there. Carrie Bradshaw truly is the role of Parker's lifetime; she and her friends' story continued with a 2008 film and then a 2010 sequel. A third movie was also in the works but was ditched a few years before the reboot series came to be. The first season of the "Sex and the City" reboot, "And Just Like That," premiered on (then HBO, now Max) in December 2021. Following the show's initial success, Season 2 premiered in June 2023. 

Although the show certainly has taken over her career and life in a way, Parker doesn't seem to mind. On June 6, 2023, the actress celebrated the 25th anniversary of the show with a tribute Instagram post featuring her gold Carrie necklace. "It's our silver anniversary but the memories will always be gold," she wrote. It seems like as long as Parker wants to continue acting, there will be new adventures for her character.